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    7 yr old on Abilify
    midust24 posted:
    I have a 7 yr old son. He has been disruptive in school, threatening other children and disrespectful to teachers. You could see the struggle in his eyes to try to be good but he just couldn't stop it. We couldn't take him hardly anywhere that there wasn't a problem, not even to places he asked to go. At 4 he was diagnosed ODD. He was put on concerta when he was in first grade but I saw no change and took him off. Now in second grade he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder as well. He has been put on Abilify 5mg and the changes are outstanding. I can actually read his school work and his moods are so much better. He deals with being told "No" a lot better as well. My concern is he seems to be sleepy all the time now. He has been taking the medicine about a week now and I have very mixed emotions about it. I love the results he has with the meds but I do not want him to be zombie like. Has anyone used this medication on such a young child before and do you have any insight for me?
    DizzyJgirl responded:
    Sorry I don't have any personal experience with ablilify. But if he has only been on it a week, it could just be a side effect, and in my experience most of the time the side effects eventually subside. I would give it another week or so (maybe see how he does through the Thanksgiving vaca, if you have one). Or if it would make you feel better call his dr and ask if this is normal, will it go away, etc.

    I do want to say thank you for sharing a little bit about your son. My son is 8 and sounds soooo much like your son. The struggles in school are the same. Our situation though is that usually, outside of school he is ok (not to mean he is perfect but he never talks to me the way he talks to his teachers, I have never heard any serious threats against his siblings or anyone else). This past week just about tops everything in his book about his behavior at school. So, I do find it helpful to hear from other parents. Thanks again. Good luck with your son. J
    midust24 responded:
    Thank you for the words of encouragement any bit helps whether thru experience or not. My son does well outside of school with his friends too. We hope the side affects go away because his attitude is so much better. Good luck with your son as well.
    alwysfrmNY responded:
    I just received the news today that my son has bipolar. He is 7yrs old and in the second grade. He started have rage fits the second to last week of September. They ran a ton of blood work and found that he had lymes. So I asked isn't it the lymes that is effecting the behaviors. They looked at the other tests and the lymes didn't play a part in the bipolar. Three weeks ago they started him on Risperdal .5mg to help with the rage outbursts and it was working fine, never knocked him out. But since what I was told today, he is to take one full mg 3 times a day to balance his system. This will mean he will have to get a dose in school and I'm not sure how that is going to play out. Maybe his system will accept the more frequent doses and he won't get drosey in the middle of the day at school, but we will have to see. I will have to ask one of his doctors at his next appointment about Abilify. I want to make sure he is on the best meds. for him that will help school and home and give me my little boy back.
    lynnian responded:
    My son is 5, diagnosed at 4, started at 5mg of abilify, now up to 7.5mg (5 in am, 2.5 after school) along with 800mg of tegretol (400 in am, 400 after school) and the abilify is WONDERFUL!!!! He never slept well because of his mania, so this helped, but he is by no means a "zombie." We had tried several different drugs and combinations to find this one which works so well. His psych is very pleased (as are we) with his stability. There are still bad days, but structure is a must for our family. I never have to worry about my son falling asleep at school. at first he may have been a bit more tired, but his body quickly adjusted, and he was a lot happier being a little more in control of his emotions. He also had a lot of sensory issues and tics, but they have gotten a lot better because of the tegretol.

    I hope your son has wonderful results with the abilify!!!!
    WoeIsMommy responded:
    My son is 6yrs old and we just started him on the Abilify 2mg on 12/19. The first night I saw a difference, he actually went to sleep within 5 minutes of me putting him to bed (this is a miracle-usually 10 times out of bed and up for at least 2 hours of me putting him to bed). I gave it to him at 6PM after dinner and I put him to bed at 8:30. He was up at his usual time all by himself the next day by 7:15 and was occupying himslef, which usually never happens. He is at me 24/7...arguing, or telling me what we are going to do for the day; he is usually relentless; mean and disrespectful at school and is trying to be the boss all the time. These past 3 days have been so different, his arguing has really subsided and he is listenening to me and following direction. He is easily redirected now and is just as active; however the anxiety and anger seem to be gone. He is more lovey towards me and everyone else and is actually not being self-centered for a change. I am keeping a close eye on things. He had one headache the second night and has had the hiccups a lot the past couple days. I notice that if he doesn't eat every 2-3 hours he starts to look pasty and states he is starving and thirsty. I have a followup appt with his doctor on the 8th of Jan so I am going to bring this up since it may be affecting his blood sugar. I would like to know what you think now that your son has been on it for a month.

    Thanks Karen
    fleiscl responded:
    I have a 7 year old son soon to be 8 in a week. He was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in January. We tried many different medications first. Lamictal, Neurontin, Kepra, Focalin, Klonipin which were all stopped because there was no benefit or his symptoms of impulsivity, tantrums, anxiety not accepting NO, and sleep difficulties got worse. I believe with many of these children being diagnosed so young with Bipolar Disorder it usually co-exists with other diagnosis.With my son He shows signs of ADHD, ODD social anxiety. He controls himself very well outside of the home, behaves great in school, resturants, play dates, family outings, but the minute he comes in his house the trouble begins. Every request as simple as lets put our sneakers on, or its time for your shower becomes a screaming, yelling throwing tantrum most times. We started Abilify at 1mg first now he is up to 2mg at 6;30 am{it can interupt with sleep} and Concerta 27mg am. I have to say I am thrilled with the results of being somewhat less argumentive Be careful of side effects.
    tulipgal responded:
    Hi: My 9 year old is taking Abilify at 5mg once daily. It has helped but I worry about it being a "newer" medication. He gained too much weight on the Risperdol so we switched. Also, there's no generic as you know so it's very expensive. My son also takes Zoloft; the combo is recommended by his Psychiatrist. His outbursts are less destructive and less often but still a way of life, unfortunately.

    Thanks for sharing and nice to have found this group.
    davidc26 responded:
    Abilify gave us our son back. His fits of rage were so bad that I literally had to restrain him for up to 2 hours. After 10 days on this drug, he was a new kid with a totally new outlook on life. We very seldom have problems with him now other than a tendency to obsess on odd things.

    FOR ALL OF YOU WITH KIDS ON ABILIFY HERE IS THE GREATEST TIP I CAN GIVE: the first time I went to get my son's script filled, it cost me $500! I am self-employed and on an HSA, so I have to pay for all of y family's drugs out or pocket. You can get a GENERIC for Abilify out of Canada, that they do not sell here in the states. Our cost for the generic is $57 a month now! There a a ton of websites that sell drugs from Canada and this will save you a TON of money if your doctor will write the script for the generic. This has already saved us at least $5000.
    GP2009 responded:
    Our 13 year old started Abilify today. We have high hopes.

    He was diagnosed bipolar about 5 years ago. We had him on Gabapentin, but he was very lethargic, gained weight, and slept all the time. We took him off medication after about 6 months for several reasons. Over the last four years we've worked really hard on our parenting and have had only a few problems.

    The thing is, when my son isn't ticked off at the world, he's funny, insightful, and brilliant. He really is a genius--for real. However, about 6 months ago the testosterone kicked-in. Between wacky hormones and rivalry with an older brother, his raging and violence has picked up to the extreme. Now it's problems at school, home, and everywhere we go--that is, when he's not barricaded in his room and being anti-social.

    We can't take away the things he likes for fear he'll destroy things and/or hurt one of us. We've had the police at our home several times over the last 4 months... trying to fight with his brother, breaking things, putting holes in the walls and doors, calling mom and feigning having cut off his hand...

    Last night he actually called me out and lunged at me at the dinner table because my wife and I were trying to be proactive in solving what he perceived to be a problem. As I held him at bay he bit the you-know-what out of my arm. The PD came again... I didn't have the heart to have him booked into juvenile hall--he has an anger problem... The PD had us take him to a crisis center and he volunteered to go.

    It was hard hearing him tell his side of the story... I'm the mean, oppressive father... my wife is mean... my other son is more privileged, all teachers are out to fail him, policemen are hypocrites... this despite our bending over backwards to give our son the best of everything to meet his needs.

    Today we were able to get him to our Psychiatrist. He prescribed Abilify. He took the 5mg pill at 5pm and fell asleep right after dinner. He did get up a few minutes ago and said he felt a little nauseous, but he went right back into his room and laid down.

    Bottom line, we love our son and we just want him to be happy and normal. I don't know if one or both of us failed at parenting or if this was out of our control. He has the capacity to be a great leader--he's so resourceful and understands concepts far beyond his years. But, his anger and hurting the people who love him most will stunt his ability to function and contribute positively to society.

    Again, I hope this Abilify works. Say a prayer for us and our son.
    MontanaMT1130 responded:
    Please let us know how it works out for you. My 8 year old just started abilify today.
    careflowers responded:
    My son, age 7 was just diagnosed with bipolar a week ago after a depression and ADHD diagnosis a year and a half prior. He began on 1mg Abilify and his mood seemed better, but he had excessive energy and movement. He had 2 great days at school and then the next 2 days (the weekend) he seemed more irritable, sensitive, tearful, angry and began hitting, talking about how stupid he is, saying he wants to kill himself, hurt his cousin, then crying again and feeling remorseful for hitting, etc... seemed worse than before He began 2mg Sat. evening and today seemed better in a.m. and only one trip to the school office (always for silly, loud behavior and no aggression). Afternoon tearful again, eating a ton, but seemed much easier to redirect him and did not escalate to any violence. He does say he has nightmares since he has been on Abilify and that he is dizzy. Does anyone have experience with meds taking a while to work, or if it was, would it have by now?? Not sure what are side effects vs. too low dosing?? Or what is just due to all the changes. He went off Fluoxetine (Prozac) last week, of stimmulants a week before and is just on the Abilify to try to get mood stable before adding the stimulants again...also has ADHD. Thanks for an input!
    02Lucky responded:
    I have an 8 yr old daughter who has bipolar.... She was diagnosed with bipolar after spending a wk in the hosiptal..She was the same way with her teachers and other students.... She takes Risperdal 3 times a day. She does really good on it. I have seen a change in her behavior. I was real worried about her being zombie out on that high of a dose of meds... She takes 0.25mg 3 times... Not sleepy at all.. She does GREAT! I am so HAPPY with the out come of her meds.She has been on it for about 3wks now. She is still has a hard time with not disrupting the classroom.. But she no longer yells at her teacher nor gets in her face or the other students.. That may be to high of a medicine for him?
    shanwin responded:
    I just started Abilify with my 11 yr. old son- 4 days now. He has been on Gabapentin for several years now in combination with a variety of antidepressants, anti-anxiety, and ADHD medications. His symptoms become more sever it seems, as he ages. The obsessing has reached a level that I have never seen before. Like so many who have commented here, these children are brilliant when they are not feeling like "victims of the world." The anger, whining, crying, and dark contemplative thoughts that these kids experience take a sever toll on the entire family when trying to deal, calm, and justify those emotions and behaviors. For those of you using combination drugs- (in my opinion and experience) the ADHD and anti-depressant drugs have some negative effect on bipolar children. Focalix XR brought out more of the "mean" with my son. Now that I've weaned him of those, changes are being seen. I can't imagine the Abilify is taking root after only 4 days, but I'm beginning to see a much calmer, loving child. He's had a couple of sever upset stomach nights, so I've held off on the drug when he's felt sick like that. My son does not like the way he reacts and feels about the world. These children need continuous support, love, and therapy. Never give up...we are their only advocates and ones who truly know the pain of what it is to endure what these children go through. It's not their fault-or yours. Hang in there.
    momto3tracy responded:
    Thank you everyone for your posts. My husband and I are feeling overwhelmed. Our 10 yr old son was diagnosed with bipolar and ADD last year. We had been trying for years to figure out what was going on with him. He is the sweetest, most compassionate child....until he has an episode. He is able to control himself at school and in public, most of the time. When he loses control in front of someone other than family, the embarrassment is brutal for him. As he is getting older and stronger, the episodes are getting more violent. Last night, he attacked with punches, kicks and then tried to the SUV. The episodes are also getting more unpredictable. Last night, he was upset because he wanted to ride his dirtbike to a friend's birthday party and we said "no". (Too muddy, too far away, many logical reasons) and he went completely off, even tried to break my arm. He is a very strong, stalky kid...(5'0 and 150 lbs), so we are about the same size. I am getting to the point where I am not able to restrain him and it breaks my heart to see so much rage. He was started on depakote, but the weight gain has been terrible so it has been cut down. He also takes abilify. The meds seemed to help tremendously at first, but now that puberty is setting in, we are almost back to where we started. We see a psych once/month. I am curious if the time of day has an affect on the abiify. We give meds in the evenings because the depakote makes him sleepy, but I'm curious about giving abilify at a different time. Our next appointment is in 2 weeks and I would like to get some opinions on times of day that other children take the meds and if it seems to make a difference. Thanks so much for any input.

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